Six Word Story #23

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“Refreshing Watermelon Smoothie Counters Sweltering Heat!”

 

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I have a never-ending love affair with fruit smoothies!

On almost every day I am concocting yet another batch for my lads here at home.  And it’s never the same blend twice – haha!

My base ingredients tend to be water, banana, pineapple, and apple (any kind that I have on hand).  And then things change from there on….influenced by whims and fancies or more simply if it’s all that I have in the fruit basket.  Anywhere from a mix of berries to fresh mangoes – although I freely add in frozen fruits, too – kiwi fruit or pears; always a surprise!

And my must addition is fresh plain yogurt.  Sometimes I add in hemp hearts for a special treat.

These days with the summer heat being particularly pronounced, I have been adding in fresh watermelon as well, lending such a light and sweet refreshing flavour.

Ooohhhmmm!  Looking at this photo is making me want to head into the kitchen and make another fruit smoothie!

 

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“The Letter L”

 

The topic for this week’s photography assignment was “The Letter L,” thus focusing on all kinds of things that begin with the letter L.

The following photos are my four submissions:

 

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Starts with L, #1 – (Archived, January 2018)
“Logs in Winter”

(even though the way our April is going lately – with the same amount of snow (sheesh!) – it could be Logs in Spring, hahaha!)

 

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Starts with L, #2 – (Three days ago)
“Laddoo”
Coconut Sesame, in this case. An East Indian dessert that we (a handful of keen students! 🙂 ) learned how to make in cooking class, led by an Indian Chef.

 

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Starts with L, #3 – (Archived, October 2015)
“Lights”
At my first Santana concert in Kingston, Ontario. I took many photos of the show, and I love how in this photo those yellow lights pop out and their rays splay out, and how their yellow hues light up the audience heads below – looking at it from top to bottom and back to top – full circle.

 

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Starts with L, #4 – (About a week ago)
“Lindt Chocolates”
I DO love good food!! Haha! And I received an assortment of my favie Lindts as one of my presents for my birthday. And then I remembered to take a picture before I gobbled them all up. ^_^

 

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A different kind of Sundae!

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This is a Pineapple Upside-down Cake Sundae!!

And it tastes as delicious as its long name – hahaha!

It’s a layering of french vanilla ice cream on the bottom, then some food processor-crumbled, days-old pound cake, topped with a pineapple ‘n sugar ‘n cinnamon sauce, a swirl of whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry on top.  YUM!!

Learned this one in Tuesday’s cooking class, and I definitely wanted to try it! I end up making most of the dishes that we learn in class. The family enjoys them.  😀

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I haven’t posted anything about food in quite a while; I figured I was due.  ❤

 

 

By Special Request

Every so often my family will make requests for their favourites, whether it’s the oatmeal pancakes, or homemade pizza, chocolate chip cookies, or as today, the request was for Mom’s Banana Loaf – it also comes with chocolate chips!

It’s been another rainy day – we are having so many of those this summer! – so that’ll make a satisfying treat.

I hadn’t made a banana loaf in a while, but there were these bananas on the table going past their prime – having not been gobbled up sooner, as all the others – soooo…..good time to turn them into a loaf.

And according to the guys, it doesn’t need to be cooled off that much. Eating it warm is MUCH better…..because then all the chocolate pieces are all “melty” and warm. 😀 

This time Jason and I had our slice with vanilla ice cream on the side….something new! (we don’t eat much ice cream) 🙂

 

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Birthday Treat!

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Crispy light cover

Crunch, with chilled goodness inside;

Deep-fried ice cream ball!

 

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This was my dessert treat on Saturday evening as part of my birthday celebration.

And not long after savouring that deliciousness, my three band mates and I got up on stage at the open mic to perform several songs.  It was an acoustic set, so in addition to their guitars and lead and back-up vocals, I added in either bongo, cajon, or djembe rhythms (and vocal back-ups as well).   A super fun highlight towards the end of the day.  🙂

 

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NOTE:  One reason why there’s been a lapse in posts on my blog recently…..that whole weekend was quite busy with work and birthday and music activities (three of our family birthdays in one week!).  And since then I’ve been doing catch up on well-wishes, etc.   🙂

 

 

The Guinness Mystery!

Okay, so it isn’t a true mystery in the sense of a whodunit.

But it does involve beer – yay! – and I did have to do a bit of sleuthing.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try a new recipe from my cooking classes.  I had a hunch my lads would enjoy Potato Cheddar Guinness Soup.  There’s just something enticingly tasty about cheese and beer together, right?

The only ingredient I didn’t have was the Guinness beer, and so I stopped by the local beer store to find some.  I used their computer system to search for it, and when the attendant brought me the two over-sized cans, they looked like regular, aluminum beer cans.  Kinda snazzy with black background and gold lettering.

And when I opened up the one can – keeping the other for a future soup-making session – I poured all the contents into the soup…..and oh!  What a wonderful aroma coming from the soup pot!

It was THEN…..as I turned the can back over to its upright position in order to put it off to the side, that I heard a dull clink sound inside the can.  How bizarre!  But I had to stay focused on finishing the soup and then cutting up the fresh baked bread to be served to my family.

Later on while doing the dishes, I again turned my attention to the can with the curious noise.  I turned the can upside down again, then shook it around, then tried peering into the small opening made with the snap opener…..but couldn’t really see the object inside the can that was making the fun little clink tones.

I asked my lads if they knew if this was a normal thing to find in a can of Guinness?  And yes, apparently, there is a tradition of some round bauble thing inside the can.

To make the beer taste better, they said.

Really?

Hmm……interesting!

By now some of you would have said, why don’t you just google it!  That seems to be the catch phrase these days.  I’m old school.  I will try other things first…..and then go, oh yeah, I can google it.

So, I got out my trusty “hand-powered” can opener and cut around the top part of the can to finally discover the bauble surprise inside.

Isn’t it cute?!?!

 

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Akin to a ping pong ball in lightness and looks – doesn’t bounce like one, though.  It just lands hard on the floor with a loud “blunk!’

 

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And after that bit of exploration and experimentation, I looked up what google had to say:

(written by Julia Calderone for the Business Insider, Sept. 25, 2015)

“…That little gadget is called a “widget,” and you should be thankful for it. It’s making your beer taste like it was just poured fresh from the tap.

A widget is a hollow, spherical piece of plastic with a tiny hole in it — it looks like a little ping pong ball.

During the canning process, brewers add pressurized nitrogen to the brew, which trickles into the hole along with a little bit of beer. The entire can is then pressurized.

When you open the can, the pressure inside the can drops to equalize with the pressure in the room. Since the pressure inside the widget is still much higher than the pressure in the beer around it, the nitrogenated beer from inside the widget squirts into the beer — providing a burst of tiny bubbles of nitrogen gas that rise to the top of beer, giving it a thick, creamy head you’d get straight from the tap.

Guinness brewers first patented the idea of the widget in 1969….”

 

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Mystery solved!   😀

 

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Go ahead and Try Some!

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Isn’t it grand to have friends who share something new they’ve tried and encourage you to take a sample?

Yesterday I had gone to the home of my friend, Susan, in order to do some cleaning work there.  As is her customary “greeting” for me, I found one of her daily inspirational books opened to yesterday’s post, an envelope addressed to me, along with something delectable and new to try…..in this case, Sweet & Sour Tamarind

In the past I have enjoyed eating samosas and dipping them into a classic Indian tamarind sauce.  So, I was curious to see what tamarinds actually look like.

 

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The outer shells are of a light, brittle texture and fall apart easily.

Haha!  At first, I mistakenly thought that the outer shell is to be eaten as well.

 

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It wasn’t until I was working my way through the bites and pits – that she had forewarned me for – that I realized that the reddish dried and chewy part inside that tan-coloured outer shell is the tamarind and inside that are the blackish pits.

 

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I nibbled my way through two of those pods from her box.

I rather enjoyed this new and different taste sensation!

 

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A Pancake Variation

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Who of you, my friends, has ever tried chocolate chip pancakes?

A couple of you, yes?

Well, we tried it for the first time today!  😀

I had already served up my usual oatmeal ones to Jason, and when it was Conrad’s turn, he inquired about the possibility of adding in some chocolate chips.

As a guest at a friend’s house recently,  that’s what had been served. He told me that they had tasted very good!

So…..well, chocolate chips…..and oatmeal pancakes….and maple syrup.

Too irresistible not to try, right?

I had one, too…..and Conrad’s assessment was right on – Delish!

Adding in some photos for your drooling pleasure…..haha!

 

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Waffle Delight!

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Belgian waffles,

Topped with fresh fruits and whipped cream;

Plus…maple syrup!

 

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February has been quite a busy month with very little blogging on my part…..sigh.

I plan to remedy that and get back on track for March!  😀

Mind you, now starts the also busy maple season, especially at the restaurant where I work and where we offer delicious maple syrup highlighted breakfasts and lunches all through March and April.

Which inspired me to welcome you back……..with this yummy looking dish!

The only thing better would be if I could serve it to you.  ❤

 

A Nutritious Treat!

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Now I have posted periodically on the subject of food and included enticing photos for you , my dear readers, to enjoy.

This time I am going the extra step and including the recipe for those of you who may wish to make your own batch of these Three Seed Yogurt Muffins!

I just tried them for the first time yesterday, and they were a big hit with some friends and my family at home.

Here you go!

ENJOY!

 

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Three Seed Yogurt Muffins

 

For 12 muffins,

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup whole wheat flour

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup wheat germ

½ cup roasted raw pumpkin seeds

½ cup roasted raw sunflower seeds

2 tbsp ground flax seeds

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground ginger or cinnamon

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 egg

1 cup milk

2/3 cup liquid honey or packed brown sugar

½ cup plain yogurt (NOT fat-free)

¼ cup butter, melted

 

TOPPING:

1 tbsp raw roasted pumpkin seeds, 1 tbsp raw sunflower seeds

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375°F; line muffin pan with paper liners (or grease pan).

In a coffee or all-purpose grinder, grind the flax seeds.

In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, baking powder, ginger, and baking soda.

In another bowl, whisk together egg, milk, honey, yogurt, and butter.

Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients, stir just until moistened.

Spoon into prepared muffin pan; sprinkle tops with pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

Bake for about 25 min. or until tops are firm to the touch.  Cool in pan for 5 min. Transfer to rack to cool completely.

 

EXTRA NOTE:

Optional to add – orange zest with the butter; grated apple; dried cranberries, blueberries, or raisins